We are down to the final month of the college football regular season, and the betting market keeps getting tougher to beat as Vegas has two months of results to factor in for each program. Last month, I broke down the five toughest spots in October, which included Wisconsin’s game at Illinois that they ended up losing outright as 30.5-point underdogs.
Here are the 10 toughest scheduling spots for teams in the month of November.
November 2: Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech
Notre Dame won’t be returning to the College Football Playoff after suffering their second loss of the season at Michigan in Week 9. Since their goal for this season was to return to the Playoff, I can see a letdown in their upcoming game against Virginia Tech. The Fighting Irish are a 17.5-point favorite against a Virginia Tech team coming off a bye week. Notre Dame should be able to win this game, but I’m not sure if they have the motivation to cover a big number.
November 2: Auburn vs. Ole Miss
Like Notre Dame, Auburn’s College Football Playoff dreams were crushed in Week 9 with a loss at LSU. The Tigers showed fight for 60 minutes, but fell short against the new No. 1 team in the country. Now Auburn has a possible letdown game at home against Ole Miss. Auburn is an 18.5-point favorite as of Tuesday afternoon, but Ole Miss is coming off a bye week of their own so this could be a situation in which you fade Auburn against the number.
November 9: Baylor at TCU
Baylor has been one of the surprise teams in college football with a 7-0 record and No. 12 ranking. They face West Virginia at home this Thursday and should enter November 8-0, but their schedule gets tough down the stretch, highlighted with home dates against Oklahoma and Texas in Week 12 and 13, respectively. But before their matchups against marquee conference opponents, they must travel to face TCU with all the pressure on them (assuming they’re still undefeated). This sounds like a potential look-ahead game for the Bears.
November 9: USC at Arizona State
USC has played one of the most difficult schedules in college football, and they have one more big opponent left when they host No. 7 Oregon in primetime this Saturday. Playing in a huge game this week could lead to a letdown in Week 11 when the Trojans travel to face an Arizona State team coming off a bye week. Keep an eye on how USC plays against Oregon this week, then possibly fade them the following week in Tempe.
November 16: Penn State vs. Indiana
Penn State has proven me wrong and risen to No. 5 in the AP poll after an 8-0 start. They have two more eye-popping games on the schedule with a Nov. 9 date at 8-0 Minnesota and then a massive Big Ten East clash at Ohio State on Nov. 23 — which makes the Nov. 16 matchup against Indiana a classic “sandwich” game that Penn State will have to overcome at home. Indiana is 6-2 this season and will be coming off a bye week, so they could provide trouble for Penn State and at least cover the spread.
November 16: LSU at Ole Mis
Ole Miss makes another appearance on this list as they’ll face another SEC West power in a bad scheduling spot as LSU has to travel to Ole Miss the week after playing at Alabama. If LSU beats Alabama, then the spread will probably be inflated, and you can get Ole Miss catching a lot of points. If LSU loses to Alabama, there could be a hangover effect on the Tigers, who’d instantly become a team that bettors would want to fade.
November 16: Arizona State at Oregon State
This is setting up to be a very tough spot for Arizona State because Oregon State is actually competitive this season. The Sun Devils have the aforementioned game against USC the week before their matchup with the Beavers and host Oregon the week after. A November trip from Arizona to Oregon doesn’t sound appealing especially if there is bad weather in the Pacific Northwest. It will be an under-the-radar game, but Oregon State could provide point spread value here.
November 23: Iowa State vs. Kansas
Iowa State is on their bye this week before an away game at Oklahoma and a home matchup against Texas in back-to-back weeks. Since those are the biggest games left on their conference schedule, I’d expect a letdown when Iowa State hosts Kansas the week after their showdown with the Longhorns. Kansas is a team on the rise with Les Miles in charge, so they could be a point spread darling in November.
November 23: Michigan at Indiana
Between matchups against rivals Michigan State and Ohio State, Michigan must travel to face Indiana. The Hoosiers have given the Wolverines trouble the last four seasons going 3-0-1 against the spread in their battles — with the push coming in a seven-point overtime loss in 2017. Michigan might be more focused on the Ohio State game and overlook a confident Indiana program.
November 30: Georgia at Georgia Tech
Georgia enters November off a much-needed bye week before the crucial stretch of their schedule. Their next four games are against Florida, Missouri, Auburn and Texas A&M. If they win out they’ll play in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7. So an in-state battle at Georgia Tech to close off UGA’s regular season could serve as a look-ahead game before their potential clash with Alabama or LSU.